Mamty,( pronounced Mumpty) is the least gifted of my basic group so will forever be Numpty in my head. He is also a really nice guy who always arrives at least 10 minutes late and has arrived after the lesson has finished but has never missed a day yet. The reason he is always late is that he walks 3 km to get to my class. I hadn't realised until recently that all of that group have to travel twice a week to get to my class. Mamty walks the others catch a bus so they have to pay each way twice a week to come to my 30 minute lesson. I was really shocked. We talked about it last week and I have now made each lesson 45 mins and have moved the Wednesday class to the afternoon.
Mamty is a drummer in a jazz band who also play gospel music at his church. The Carlton Hotel is THE hotel in Tana. Think Savoy or Dorchester. Their band has a gig at the Carlton on Christmas Eve so are practising most nights and Mamti accepted me inviting myself to their rehearsal on Monday. As it happened it was not great because one (of three) keyboard players could not make it and the bass guitarist dropped out at the last moment. They half-heartedly rehearsed for an hour or so and I had to revise my view of Mamty; he can play drums.
After the session the lead keyboard player, I think he is the band leader, he was certainly conducting and running the show, offered me a lift back. I gratefully accepted but was quite surprised when we to his car and he pulled out a taxi light and connected it up while Mamty and I climbed in. No problem. He dropped me near my hotel and I offered to pay but he declined. A very nice man able to joke in English. Impressive.
After today's lesson I asked Mamty to pass on my thanks to the driver again. By way of making conversation I remarked that it must be useful to have a taxi driver as a member of the band to which he replied, "He is only a taxi driver in the evenings after rehearsal. During the day he is a doctor in St. Paul's Hospital." Wow. Follow that. It seems that the funding of doctors here is a little short of the average GP at home.